November 22, 2015
Crew's one-two punch on the Red Bulls could very well wind up being the knockout punch to their season
By Michael Lewis
The Columbus Crew gave the Red Bulls a helluva one-two punch in its 2-0 playoff win Sunday.
The hosts stunned the Supporters Shield champions with a goal only nine seconds into the match.
They further staggered the visiting side with another tally five minutes from time, which could very well turn into the knockout punch in the MLS Eastern Conference finals.
We'll know for sure by next Sunday at 7:30 p.m. when the Red Bulls host the Crew in the second leg at Red Bull Arena.
A one-goal deficit is reachable, a second-goal hole not so easy, though not impossible.
One thing is for sure: it took a long, long time for the Red Bulls to recover from Justin Meram's early goal Sunday.
They never truly were themselves in the match as they failed to impose their high-pressure game on the Crew, which did some pretty damn good pressuring themselves.
The Red Bulls look out of synch and in some kind of daze for most of the opening half and by the time they found their game in the second half, they still were far from being at full throttle.
Give the Crew and head coach Gregg Berhalter a lot of credit. Their game plan was perfect and the Red Bulls took a long time to figure things out after stumbling in those opening nine seconds.
And another thing is for sure: the Red Bulls have their work cut out for themselves next Sunday.
If not, they will become another Supporters Shield winner that could not get it done in the playoffs.